As of midnight, the year 2012 will be in the books. It will be history. The Bentons will never be able to forget the year 2012. At the beginning of the year we rejoiced at the news that two grandsons would be joining the family. Each of our sons would now have their own child and each was happily married. That is so fulfilling as a parent – to see your children happy and productive! Then, the bottom seemed to fall out. The call that would change our world came on the morning of February 11, 2012 when we learned that our middle son Bryan had passed away suddenly and the cause was unknown. Talk about a world crashing down around you! We will never forget the year 2012 when we added two precious grandsons and lost a son. The height of joy and the depth of pain.
I have used our life experience throughout the year to encourage others. That is/was sincere. While the pain has been severe and real, God’s strength has been amazing. With new meaning we sing the song, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” Yet, I have written little about the days and nights that gave no peace and no rest. There were plenty of those. Sometimes when we speak of the strength and peace of God, we say it as though we have no pain, sleeplessness or anxiety. I am honest enough to tell you that has not been the case for me. There have been buckets of tears. There is the ongoing pain of Bryan not meeting and enjoying his beautiful, active son. There have been times the pain of loss, and the overwhelming heartache of watching my whole family suffer was almost more than I could bear. Has that changed my testimony? Not for one minute! My testimony has not changed and my faith has not been shattered. I am here to testify! I am here to testify He is with me. I am here to testify His grace is sufficient. I am here to testify that He is still God when I have no answers and no solutions. I am here to testify that He has never left me nor forsaken me. I am here to testify that His provision has been with me. I am here to testify!
As we approach 2013, I invite you to lean upon His omnipotent arm. “You have no need which from His infinite supplies cannot be met. There is no stone of difficulty in your pilgrimage which His might cannot remove. You have no burden which His arm of power cannot bear, and no perplexity which His wisdom cannot guide. In a word, you have no condition to which Christ our ever-present God is not equal. In faith and humility make practical use of your Savior’s divinity; and when all that is merely human has failed, broken like a rope of sand, dissolved like a passing vapor; or has pierced your hand like a shattered reed, then take hold of this precious truth, and say, “My Savior God is with me in all the boundless resources of His Godhead, why then should I fear?”
And to that I am here to testify!